Looking at Siimon Reynolds’ (yes, two i’s) list of achievements, it’s clear he’s a busy guy. A former adman, Reynolds shot into the public eye in the 1980s, when he created the controversial Grim Reaper ads – one of Australia’s first HIV education messages. His creative businesses boomed, and he then moved into writing books (five at last count), and got busy founding companies. The most recent – Photon Group – was worth $500 million when he left it.
There’s no doubt he’s successful, but what interests me most about Siimon is he also seems to be someone who takes time to reflect on what the nuts and bolts of what he’s doing. He’s not just interested in where he’s going well; he spends time thinking about what systems, actions or thinking need to be refined. He’s also pretty comfortable with failure (he even wrote a book on it: “Why people fail”) and from all accounts, is an all-round nice guy. “Everyone loves Siimon,” someone who knows him well confided to me recently.
If that’s not enough, he happens to be a productivity whiz. So, when I interviewed Siimon about building a successful career (for My Career – you should be able to catch that story in the print or iPad versions of the SMH or the Age tomorrow) – I also asked him for a few tips on working smarter, just for you guys.
Tips for success from Siimon Reynolds:
What’s one mistake you made early on?
I realised that personal organisation is at the heart of 70 per cent of any errors I made. Not planning enough, not thinking things through enough. (Those writers not planning their stories…don’t listen to me, listen to a multi millionaire!)
My favourite productivity tool right now is:
A timer. Small and constant deadlines on yourself to get things done, faster. (It’s almost like he read my recent post on deadlines being friend not foe. Or this one about timers. Yes?)
You’ll be more successful at what you do if…
If you commit to a philosophy of excellence. (I should add – Siimon appears to be a big believer in doing things 100 per cent. Even if you hate what you’re doing his motto is don’t be half assed about it. Okay, his exact wording was slightly more polite than that, but you’ll have to read the SMH/AGE story for that tip… it’s pretty good advice IMHO.)
Best tip for someone who wants to work smarter?
Do the most important job of the day first. Stick to that one technique and in three years your career will have skyrocketed.
For the comments section below. What’s your own hot tip for working smarter? Or are you just going to try Siimon’s?